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Make the Jump: iPad Apps for On The Go Communicators

15 Aug

It has been just about two months since I swallowed some more of the Apple beverage and snagged myself the latest bright shiny object. And while I’ve engaged in quite a bit of show-n-tell, along with justifying my purchase to a handful of doubters, I’ve been slowly integrating the tool into my daily life. While we haven’t engaged it for client purposes as much as I had hoped (besides utilizing it for some intimate presentations), I’ve found it extremely useful to help organize, integrate and streamline portions of my life. This round of Make the Jump is a run through of the iPad apps I’m finding the most useful for communicators on the go.

Evernote: I’m almost embarrassed to include this one. How have I lived without this capture platform until now? Who cares, it’s now living happily on my Mac, iPhone and iPad and serving a purpose on all three. Keeping my thoughts, musings, ideas, inspirations, images, campaign strategies, and sanity connected. A simple brand statement ‘Remember Everything’ is dead on. From notetaking in meetings to web clipping to travel plans and program outlines. While I love the pen and paper, I lost too many good ideas on notepads and sticky notes strewn about. No more.

Instapaper: These next two links will show that while I enjoy the online and virtual, my brain still craves the familiar of the static page and the page flip. Every day I come across full articles/posts/columns that upon a quick skim are intriguing. But if I followed my interest down every rabbit hole that opens I’d never move forward. Instead, I click ‘Read Later’ on my bookmark bar and it turns the web pages into articles I can read later – syncing between my laptop and iPad.

FlipBoard: The newest hot app (well, at least earlier this month), it’s your personalized social magazine. One of those, see-it-to-believe-its, it also allows me to browse, make the jump and absorb at my leisure in an appealing format that is visually stunning and super-skimmable.

Readdle Docs: I was adamant that my iPad not become just another laptop. So I don’t have my work email loaded onto it. Instead, I use Evernote and document management system Readdle Docs or DropBox to load, store and edit documents.

And for sanity? I’ve turned my iPad into my yoga and meditation studio. A take-it-on-the-road-or-to-the-office Zen platform. There are a lot of life improvement apps out there – but I’m really loving Relax&Rest and Pocket Yoga.

– Jess

Make the Jump: Links of note from Counselors

1 Jun

I recently had the opportunity to attend my first Counselors Academy conference – a gathering of senior-level public relations counselors, from executives of the leading multinational agencies to independent practitioners. It far exceeded expectations, providing me with opportunities for inspiration, input and that good-old fashioned comfort in company of your peers. (Plus, it was hosted at the fabulous Grove Park Inn in Asheville with breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge & Smoky Mountains)

And along the way I overloaded on input on a variety of topics – from change management to building a company culture to the latest tools and platforms for online engagement. Throughout it all one sentiment shared by Jay Baer rang true – “Everybody’s a teacher & everybody’s a student”

Know Your Audience
Forrester’s Consumer Profile Tool: While I’ve tapped into this sweet little tool before when referencing Forrester’s Social Technographics Ladder, it’s worth mentioning again. What’s the demo you are trying to connect with? Plug ’em in and see how they participate (or merely spectate or critique) online.

Flowtown: ‘When all you have is an email address, Flowtown can give you a name, age, gender, occupation, location, and all the social networks that person is on.’ ‘Nuff said. (a tad big brother feel, but also extremely insightful when trying to further target and engage an existing audience)

Klout: Tracking influence on Twitter based on hashtags, topics and individual usage. (a bit egotistical 🙂 but go ahead and input your own handle to test it out & get your Klout Influence Report)

PostRank: Mmmmmm data data data for creators, consumers and gawkers. Gauging influence and reach.

Make Life Easier

Wufoo: It’s not the easiest to hear and turn into a url, but along the lines of SurveyMonkey – Wufoo makes your life easier by templatizing a process. ‘Wufoo is an online HTML form builder that helps you create contact forms, web surveys and invitations so you can collect information, registrations and payments without writing a single line of code.’

TubeMogul: If you are a content creator you must be signed up with TubeMogul – it helps you distribute your videos to multiple sites and track engagement, all from one platform.

SwixApp: Described as both a ‘social web index’ and ‘like Google Analytics for social media’ all you need to know is that if you oversee multiple campaigns engaging in multiple ways on multiple platforms this will help keep you sane and give you tangible metrics to help prove your case and refine your efforts.

BlastFollow: From the gee-whiz category, a quick way to follow those who share your interests en masse (through use of hashtag searching)

I’m always looking for Sherpas – those folks to help me along the path and point out the great sites, share knowledge & intrigue, and alert me to the obstacles. A few I found during my Counselors trip and worth getting to know – Jay Baer, Amber Naslund, Elise Mitchell and Indra Gardiner. (Here’s the presentation Jay & Indra did together at Counselors)

– Jess

(on tap still from Counselors – books to get on my nightstand and words of wisdom to add to my mantra list!)

Make the Jump: The Case for PR, Elements of Style, Addictive RSS

9 Feb

The Case for PR – It’s been a tough week+ for the public relations profession (Toyota). Heck, if you are a member of PRSA it seems they believe it has been a tough year/decade. It inspired the industry organization to launch the initiative ‘The Business Case for PR’ with the goal of driving  industry recognition and growth by helping professionals in the field educate key audiences about public relations’ roles and outcomes, demonstrate its strategic value and enhance its reputation.

I find myself defending my profession daily. Ironically, about as much as I found myself defending my previous profession of journalism. Whether it is because of bad apples in our industry (like all industries, we have them), or misunderstanding of the role of public relations – especially in the constantly evolving communication realm. And now it is defense against the comparison between PR spam and STDs (yes – they went there in An Inconvenient PR Truth)

What’s been heartening to see is the rallying of professionals around each other – and their livelihood – and self-policing in a way to keep the integrity of our industry. The latest effort is by PR Practitioner Jules Zunich, who does a fabulous job on her blog showcasing other so-called ‘PR rescue efforts’ as she launches her own initiative – the PR Road Show. Check out her blog for some though-provoking posts and join the LinkedIn group.

10 Elements of Style for Blog Writing – My Strunk&White still sits on my bookshelf, although I gravitate towards my AP Stylebook quite a bit more. Nonetheless, writing guidelines are living documents and as such must be updated with the times. Thanks to Marko Saric for being inspired by Strunk and White to create the 10 Elements of Style for Blog Writing. (The mantra of omitting needless words will be in my head!)

RSS Distractions I could be kept distracted all day by the RSS feeds from ReadWriteWeb, Mashable and Download Squad – but I’m trying to wean my addiction. I’ll keep my Make the Jump recommendations to a minimum!

Via ReadWriteWeb an updated list of leading topic tracking tools for the web. Relevancy is key in our field and the ability to track trends and issues is paramount. I’ve only utilized a few on this list from each category but look forward to kicking the tires on a few more. If you have any feedback on any of them share the love.

A new option to break out of the silo via the constantly probing minds at Download Squad. SiloBreaker – which pulls from news sources, blogs, and multimedia sites to put together a hub of related posts and articles for any given story…. in categories such as Global Issues, Technology, Science, Business, Energy, and World. If real-time search has your head spinning and your industry is concerned with any of the above issues – SiloBreaker may be worth checking out.

Via Mashable the latest move by the growing force that is FourSquare. Admittedly like my relationship with Twitter, it took a bit to get on board (joined Twitter Spring ’08, FourSquare Winter ’10). But I’m intrigued by the location-based social app and it’s potential impact on travel/tourism/economic development/media, etc. It’s becoming a major player in many markets and a game changer for how people experience destinations and their home town. (And somehow it doesn’t feel as ‘stalker tool-like’ as BrightKite)

– Jess